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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 12, 2009

Date published:
September 12, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Davis returns to competition in France today

    Allan Davis (Quick Step) started his season on a high note by winning the Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 8:12 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Australian hopes gastro problems behind him

     Australia’s Allan Davis will return to competition in France today, after withdrawing from the Vuelta a Espana earlier in the week. The Tour Down Under winner will take part in Paris-Bruxelles, alongside Sylvain Chavanel and Steven De Jongh, hoping that the gastroenteritis which ended his Vuelta campaign are gone.

    “I hope the problem has been resolved,” said Davis. “I feel much better, yesterday I trained for five hours and the sensations on the bike were very good. Tomorrow I’ll be at the starting line in the Paris-Bruxelles, the first time I’ve ever ridden in this classic.”

    Davis’ team-mate Carlos Barredo also withdrew from the Vuelta during the ninth stage. Barredo was suffering from similar issues to those experienced by Davis.

    “Right now the most important thing for me is to compete,” said Davis. “And find some continuity in the races, especially as we build up to the World Championships in Mendrisio. After the Paris-Bruxelles my schedule towards the World Championship has me riding in the Innergetic Pijl, than Desselgem and in the GP Wallonie.”

    Quick Step’s Paris-Bruxelles roster: Sylvain Chavanel, Allan Davis, Steven De Jongh, Dries Devenyns, Kevin Hulsmans, Jerôme Pineau, Francesco Reda, Sebastien Rosseler.

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  • Traffic havoc impacts overall Missouri fight

    Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 8:28 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Borrajo hit by car in Missouri TT

    Dangerous driving from event vehicles caused two race altering incidents at the Tour of Missouri stage five time trial today, including one rider who was hit by a car. Colavita-Sutter Home’s Anibal Borrajo bore the brunt of the two incidents, when he was hit by an event VIP car driving on course during the final two kilometres of his time trial. He was bumped off the road and into the grass, sustaining minor road rash.

    “It was an organisation car,” Borrajo said. “I went to take the corner on the inside and the car was in front of me. Before the turn I waved at them to move. I don’t know if they saw me. I was faster and I cut the right hand turn on the inside but she did the same as me and hit me. The girl in the car stopped and asked me if I was OK and I told her yes.”

    He broke his front wheel in the accident, but making matters worse he had no team chase car and neutral support was nowhere in sight. He waited nearly 10 minutes at the side of the road until the Columbia- HTC team car approached. The car stopped to assist Borrajo so that he could ride back to the finish line.

    “After, the Columbia car stopped and gave me a wheel,” he continued. “I want to say thanks to them for helping me.”

    The second incident happened during Gustav Larsson’s time trial. All eyes were on the Swedish time trial specialist as one of the favourites to win the event. However two lead motorcycles slowed down and stopped inside a right-hand turn with three kilometres remaining. Larsson braked hard and narrowly avoided hitting one of the motorcycles. He built his speed back up, only to run into the same two motorcycles in the next corner forcing him to come to a stop a second time.

    “It was so annoying that they didn’t see me and it happened twice in the last few kilometres,” said Larsson, who thinks he lost approximately 15 seconds due to the traffic. “You...

  • Recovering Euser to ride Leipheimer GranFondo

    Lucas Euser (r) and Tom Veelers were in the four-man break that dominated the day. They were later joined by Dave Zabriskie, too.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 9:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin rider won't race again in 2009

    Garmin-Slipstream’s Lucas Euser will take part in October’s Leipheimer GranFondo as his recovery from being hit by a vehicle continues. Euser broke two ribs and one of his patellas after being struck by a vehicle near his Spanish residence in Girona.

    "It's been very slow going and a tough injury to deal with,” said Euser. “I won't race in 2009, but Levi's ride gives me a great goal to aim for. It will be a great feeling to ride at a big event again. It's important for me personally and mentally to have focus for a specific goal before I enter the winter months."

    Euser hopes to ride the 103-mile GranFondo course, but might opt instead for the 65-mile MedioFondo depending on his rehabilitation progress.

    "I've ridden the King Ridge course before, it's very demanding,” he said. “I'm good on the flats and rollers, but the big climbs are hard on my knee. King Ridge itself is not to be underestimated, it is a pure brute of a climb. I hope everybody who's planning to ride it is in good shape. If I'm not quite there I won't hesitate to take the 65-mile option. I know I'll enjoy that just as much."

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  • Garmin's Aussies ready for battle at Tour of Britain

    Trent Lowe (Slipstream) lost the best young rider's jersey when he crashed and lost contact with the leaders.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 9:49 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Sutton on the hunt for stage wins, Lowe bouncing back

    Australians Chris Sutton and Trent Lowe will both line-up for Garmin-Slipstream's at the Tour of Britain start on Saturday. While Sutton has his sights set on sprint wins, for Lowe, the race will be an important test after more than two months off with illness.

    As the team's designated sprinter at the Tour of Britain, Sutton will target the race's sprint finishes to secure his first victory of the season. "All the boys know it's my opportunity for a sprint, so they'll all be doing what they can to position me at the front," he told Cyclingnews on the eve of the race.

    "The guys [in the Tour of Britain team] are still getting used to doing sprint lead-outs and it does get pretty dangerous. It's a lot easier if you've got another sprinter there because they know what to do and it's normal. It's easier to surf the bunch. For these guys they'll ride tempo on the front of the bunch like we did at Eneco [Tour]."

    The 25-year-old Australian is one of four Garmin riders returning to competition in Britain after racing the Eneco Tour last month. Huub Duijn and Riccardo Van Der Velde both rode alongside Sutton at the Benelux tour in support of Tyler Farrar. However, this week, the two Dutchmen and American rider Tom Peterson will be at the service of the Australian sprinter.

    Garmin's fourth Eneco participant, Bradley Wiggins, is expected to race in Britain as the team's main contender for overall, although Sutton also pointed to compatriot Lowe as a potential threat. "We've also got Bradley [Wiggins] for the general classification and Trent [Lowe] has been training at altitude in America so we'll see how he goes too."

    Lowe told Cyclingnews on Friday that, for him, the priority will be to re-acclimatise to the rigours of professional racing after a two-and-half-month absence with chronic fatigue.

    "I've had three viruses in three months and a bit of overtraining led to the fatigue. I think every cyclist has it...

  • Purple patch continues for Garmin Slipstream

    First Canadian to win a Vuelta stage, Ryder Hesjedal.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 9:57 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Wins in Spain, US, Danielson looking strong

    Joking a few days ago on Twitter that pagan sacrifices might be the way to break Garmin Slipstream’s unbelievable run of near misses in Grand Tour stages, Jonathan Vaughters must be thanking the ancient gods after another superb day for the team. Two days ago Tyler Farrar galloped to victory on stage eleven of the Vuelta a España, landing the first individual win for the Argyle Armada in a three week race. Farrar headed home on Thursday’s rest day, but Ryder Hesjedal made it two from two today, infiltrating a decisive breakaway and then catching and outsprinting David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) on the Alto de Velefique.

    What’s more, Tom Danielson had his strongest day yet in the race, attacking on the steep earlier slopes, looking sharp the whole way up and then finishing in the same time as race leader Alejandro Valverde and second-placed Cadel Evans (Silence Lotto). Across the Atlantic Dave Zabriskie won the time trial in the Tour of Missouri and took over as race leader.

    “I think we have got a very good team here [in the Vuelta], and Tommy D. is going better than he has for years,” said smiling directeur sportif Johnny Weltz after the stage. “The other guys had a good rest day and they were very motivated, and for sure it gave a huge boost to their morale that Tyler won. Everybody is more focussed.

    “During the year we had been extremely strong, but we had just been unlucky in getting the last bit and landing the win,” he said. “I think that once it started [with Farrar’s victory], more success will come.”

    Hesjedal certainly proved that point, bouncing back after his second place on stage 10 to win today. Prior to this, the former mountain bike rider’s biggest road win was the 2007 Canadian national time trial championship. Needless to say, he’s eclipsed that now.

    “This victory is still a shock,” he said at the finish, looking...

  • Ongarato signs with Vacansoleil for two years

    Petacchi and Ongarato after the winning day.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 10:02 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Italian sprinter takes leap from Petacchi's lead-out train

    Italian rider Alberto Ongarato will join Vacansoleil in 2010 after he signed a two-year deal with Dutch Pro Continental team. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that the 34-year-old sprinter will leave LPR Brakes - Farnese Vini after one year with the Italian team.

    The move to Vacansoleil is likely to give Ongarato more independence to pursue his own goals. While he has ridden as one of Alessandro Petacchi's key lead-out men since 2004, he will now join Borut Bozic and fellow transfer, Romain Feillu, in Vancansoleil's increasingly potent sprint attack.

    Ongarato began his professional career at Alessio-Banca SMG in 2000. He joined Domina Vacanze-Elitron in 2003 where he rode for Mario Cipollini, before he was recruited to Petacchi's lead-out train at Fassa Bortolo in 2004. Ongarato followed Petacchi to Milram in 2006 and subsequently to LPR Brakes for 2009.

    Ongarato's most successful season came in 2005, where he took a stage win at each of the Tour of Luxembourg and Tour de la Région Wallonne.

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  • O’Grady shows courage on tough day

    Stuart O'Grady is a picture of concentration before the time trial. Thinking about his workload on Saturday, perhaps?
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 10:31 BST
    Shane Stokes

    ‘Non climber’ attacks in the mountains

    He’s more Classics rider than mountain climber, but Saxo Bank’s Stuart O’Grady had a plucky ride on the final climb of the Alto de Velefique on Friday. He dug deep to close up to Julián Sanchez (Contentpolis – Ampo) and eventual stage winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Slipstream) after they had attacked in pursuit of David Gardia (Xacobeo Galicia).

    While he cracked and finished the stage 4:14 minutes back in 37th place, his aggression shows that he is set on posting a good end of season. “It wasn’t exactly my preferred kind of stage. I just tried everything but it is a bit out of my league,” the visibly shattered Australian told Cyclingnews after he finsished.

    “The plan was actually to try to take today a little bit easy,” he said. “As usual, what you do ends up being the opposite of what you plan. There were a lot of attacks at the start and I found myself in the right move. It was a pretty good group and I thought that if we played our cards right, we would go a long way. But it was always going to be a mission impossible [to climb with the best riders].”

    O’Grady said that he will wait until he recovers before possibly trying again. Next week several flatter stages will take the rider closer to Madrid and, legs permitting, these will give him a better opportunity to leave his mark.

    However, whatever happens, his main goal comes one week after the Vuelta ends. “I am here because of the worlds,” he said. "”This is all preparation for that. I’m trying to get myself to 100 percent condition and see what happens on the day. I haven’t seen the course but I’ve heard enough about it. You never know.”

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  • Valverde satisfied with outcome at Velefique

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    September 12, 2009, 10:38 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Time lost to Gesink, but Vuelta leader warns of critical weekend

    Vuelta a España leader Alejandro Valverde was pleased with the outcome of the race's 12th stage to Velefique, despite losing time to general classification rival Robert Gesink (Rabobank) in the final two kilometres of the stage. The Caisse d'Epargne captain said he remained cautious as the race heads into the second and third of three successive mountain-top finishes.

    "The stage today was one of the most important of this Vuelta and I am happy with my result," said Valverde after the stage. "One day less to race and one more day with the gold jersey."

    Gesink attacked the gold jersey group 1.5 kilometres from the finish line in an effort to close the 36 second advantage that Valverde held over him at the start of the day. Rather than pursue the Dutch rider, Valverde chose instead to mark his nearest rival, Cadel Evans, in the finale.

    "In the final when Gesink attacked, I was on Evans’ wheel because, with his position in the general classification, he is the rider I have to watch all the time. I believe [Evans] was not comfortable [on the final climb], but on the other side everybody was being careful today because we have to keep strength for the next two stages."

    Valverde also praised his Caisse d'Epargne teammates, whose tempo on the final climb minimized the damage to his overall lead. "My team achieved a fantastic job during the entire day and my teammates’ rhythm in the last ascension of Velefique made so that it was almost impossible to attack us."

    Gesink's 18 second gain on Friday means that the Rabobank captain will start stage 13 on Saturday, just 18 seconds from the race lead and, perhaps more immediately for the Dutchman, 11 seconds behind the second place of Cadel Evans. With mountain top finishes on both Saturday and